It's hard to say exactly what causes a food trend to take off, but poke bowls are having an undeniable moment right now.
— Kristen Hawley
One of the great things about digital ordering is the ability to quickly analyze a huge set of data to identify real-life, data-backed trends. If you’ve read any food news in the last year, you’ve heard of the poke bowl, a Hawaiian dish made with marinated raw fish mixed with other ingredients like avocado and seaweed. According to Bloomberg, 300 new poke restaurants have opened in the US over the past two years.
Grubhub just released statistics from the first month of 2017, and it appears poke delivery is taking over, with a 365 percent increase in orders placed year over year. So if Grubhub delivered 10,000 poke bowls last year, they’re on track to deliver 46,500 this year (I’m just making these numbers up to show scale, I’m sure they’re much higher in reality.) Poke fever!
This is also a testament to diners’ trust in delivery services. Poke can be made from a lot of things, but perhaps most famous is ahi tuna poke — raw fish. Grubhub works to educate its partner restaurants and drivers on the specific food safety measures applicable to delivery, including setting realistic delivery boundaries and providing proper containers for their products (including insulation) to keep hot food hot and cold food cold (and hot and cold food separate!)
Other first-half-of-the-year trends Grubhub has pulled from its over 55,000 restaurant partners: vegan food (up 19 percent), bowls of all types (up 32 percent) and something you probably don’t need to hear from Grubhub to believe it: avocado toast (up 93 percent).